Our Country’s Mysteries, by Rich Paschall
There are a lot of things in life we do not understand. The concept of Infinity is one of them. We know space does not just end, but how can it go on forever? When considering space, black holes are another mystery. How can there be these areas of nothingness in the universe? If we fly our spaceship into one, will the “gravitational acceleration” pull us through the space/time continuum into another universe? I guess that is a question for Star Trek fans.
Stonehenge, the Pyramids of Egypt, the spheres of Costa Rica, the stone heads of Easter Island and various other ancient structures have remained a mystery despite extensive study. All we have are theories on how and why they came to be. I visited Stonehenge and the placement of these giants stones was certainly a mystery to me.
Quantum computing is a mystery to me and many others, but of course some people, including world leaders, understand it while others do not.
“The noise (from windmills) causes cancer.”
– Donald Trump
What many of us in the country do not understand is how so many people can follow a leader who has made over 10,000 false statements or flat-out lies to the general public? This is not an opinion, but rather documented fact. News outlets have checked statements and offered proof on these. You Tube videos show Trump contradicting himself or lying to the public and yet his fan base continues to follow despite the obvious lies.
Says troops recently received “one of the biggest pay raises” ever, and that it was the first pay increase in “more than 10 years.
In fact he claimed it was more than 10 per cent. It was 2.6 per cent. Troops received pay raises every year for the last 3 decades.
It is a mystery to us how so many can follow a leader who insults our allies while praising dictators with a history of violence towards political opponents. Trump counts Kim Jung Un as a friend. This “friend”kills his opponents, starves his people and continues his missile and nuclear programs. Despite recent missile firings, Trump continues to believe in this despot.
“I believe that Kim Jong Un fully realizes the great economic potential of North Korea, & will do nothing to interfere or end it. He also knows that I am with him.” – Donald Trump May 4, 2019
Trump has met with Vladimir Putin five times and had an hour and a half phone call with him on May 3, 2019. What did they talk about? A few general statements were released but the content of these meetings and conversation are a mystery.
“The fact that Trump didn’t want the State Department or members of the White House team to know what he was talking with Putin about suggests it was not about advancing our country’s national interest but something more problematic.” – Andrew S. Weiss, Russia adviser to President Bill Clinton
There is the mystery of why Trump’s fan base continues their allegiance while he shows little or no allegiance to our allies. He has repeatedly insulted our friends, and showed virtually no regard for the opinions of others. This “speak your mind and insult your friends” approach is apparently popular with the right-wing of the Trump base for some perplexing reason.
It is also truly baffling that many can follow a leader of the nation who seems to have little knowledge of the nation he purportedly leads. Time and again Trump has either misstated the facts or shows no interest in them. He may be the first president with such little knowledge of the nation.
The United States entered into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949 to secure the defense and security of member countries against outside threats. A main concern was the action of the Soviet Union on the borders of some western European friends following World War II. In order to deter future armed conflict this multi-nation agreement was signed. It would be important for our leader to know about this. It is a major point in history books. For some bewildering reason, Trump does not know it.
He could read about it on the Department of State website under Office of the Historian. It gives a nice background on many events. He can not read “Milestones in the History of U.S. Foreign Relations” on the website. It was “retired” since his term in office began. The devotion of followers after this continued ignorance of US history and US agreements is mystifying.
We could go on about virtually every aspect of 45’s tenure. His trade war hurts farmers and others. His pulling out of the world-wide climate agreement harms the planet. His relaxing of pollution standards endangers our citizens. His appointment of millionaires and billionaires to government posts for which they know little or nothing harms our democracy. His hate speech at rallies encourages violence in the country. His appointment of extreme right-wing judges at all levels harms the cause of Justice. His tax breaks for the rich has created massive debt for our government. The threat to offset a little of this debt by cutting back on Social Security and Medicare is troublesome to the elderly and disabled. His jokes about shooting immigrants are dangerous. Despite these things, for some inexplicable reason, throngs of followers still cheer him on.
What We Now Understand
In high school and college history classes, we often wondered how a despotic leader like Mussolini or Hitler could have so many devoted followers. They divided their people against one another. They blamed others for their problems. They preached violence against certain religions and ethnic groups. They advocated nationalism above other concerns. They made their followers, no matter how far down the social or economic ladder, follow them in almost blind devotion.
How could this be? What hold did these leaders have over their people? Did they actually believe the hate speech they were hearing? These questions presented a mystery our history books could not answer. Recent political events and the following of 45 by so many have given some insight into this mystery.
“President Trump has made more than 10,000 false or misleading claims,” washingtonpost.com April 29. 2019.
“Trump wrong on size and timing of military pay increases,” politifact.com, December 27, 2018.
“North Korea ‘test fires short-range missiles’,” bbc.com May 4, 2019.
“Trump and Putin Have Met Five Times. What Was Said Is a Mystery.“nytimes.com, January 15, 2019.
“How an Isolated Trump Insulted Allies and Dismissed the World at UN,” Bloomberg.com September 26, 2018.
“All Pants on Fire! statements involving Donald Trump,” politifact.com frequently updated
“Trump may really not know how NATO works,” washingtonpost.com, March 24, 2017.
“The President’s ‘Jokes’ About Shooting Migrants Are No Laughing Matter,” nymag.com/intelligencer, May 9, 2019.